The Diary as Mourning Genre

Adrienne Rich refers to the diary as “that profoundly female, and feminist genre,” for the diary, like feminism, questions and makes connections between previously hidden aspects of life. In this series we take the affinities of diary writing and feminism as a starting point to experiment with different genres in/as the diary as a method for grieving. Five writers and thinkers will guide you through their own research and offer writing prompts.




Each online workshop can be joined separately or you can follow these workshops as a course by signing up for the entire series. When you sign up for the full series you have an opportunity to workshop your texts in an intimate setting (providing and giving feedback to your texts). These sessions are moderated by the initiator of this series: Emma van Meyeren.

15 january – Emma van Meyeren  SOLD OUT

A true ritual generates the need to fulfill it again and again

22 january – Raoni Muzho

A wet silent sigh slips into the cracks of your crevices

29 january – LA Warman  SOLD OUT


5 february – Camille Barton

The Violence of the Void

12 february – Staci Bu Shea SOLD OUT

Dying Livingly 

All sessions from 14:00 – 16:00*  SOLD OUT

*16:00-17:00 feedback sessions for people who follow the full series


The Workshops

  • 15 january 2023
    A true ritual generates the need to fulfill it again and again


    This workshop is about grief and ritual. Find more about Emma’s research on grief rituals HERE.

    According to the American artist Lucy R. Lippard, a true ritual generates the need to fulfill it again and again. To which rituals do grieving people today have access? Where does grief become visible?

    In this workshop Emma van Meyeren introduces the diary as a literary genre that holds the potential of ritualization while constantly failing to live up to this potential. This workshop attempts to embrace the failed ritual.

    Emma van Meyeren is a writer based in Amsterdam. In 2020 she published Ook ik ben stukgewaaid a collection of essays about grief. As a Remote Archivist at De Appel in early 2022 she researched the ritual practice of the American artist Mary Beth Edelson. She is currently working on a fanfiction of Frans Kellendonk’s Mystiek Lichaam for Uitgeverij Chaos/Das Mag.
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  • 22 january 2023
    wet silent sigh slips into the cracks of your crevices


    This workshop is about grief and moaning. Find more about Raoni’s moaning practice HERE

    What happens with our singular and our collective bodies when we have forgotten ways to express our grief? Moaning mourning, mourning moaning, to moan in order to mourn and to mourn in order to moan.

    In this workshop we will delve into the diary as mourning genre through the practice of moaning. Wailing/whale-ing, whimpering, whining, weeping, sighing, groaning, shrieking, yowling, howling etc. are some of the sonic data that are part of the large spectrum of moaning. I approach moaning as an inherently queer practice, meaning wayward and perverse, since it provokes sounds that are by the dominant culture hushed and shamed into the private space or even into non-existence all together. I will guide us through exercises that engage with moaning followed by reflective writing scores that trace the affect of our sounds. I hope that these exercises put into motion and bring into light the hidden whining and whaling monsters and deviants within each of us.

    Raoni Muzho Joyan Saleh (1991 AFG/NL) is a choreographer/performer based in Amsterdam. Born in Afghanistan and raised in Pakistan, his work is shaped by fugitivity as a revolutionary movement. By dancing through the gender spectrum, he has generated a movement practice of becoming other, a continuous becoming of incompleteness.
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  • 29 january 2023


    This workshop is about grief and time. LA’s latest book Dust deals with death and erotics.

    In this workshop we will explore how the diary connects our griefs across time and space. We will see ourselves and our lives as artifacts of survival in an existence surrounded by death. Our diaries are our bodies, our diaries connect seemingly disparate selves. Our diaries are portals to unlock connections across generations. Our diaries speak beyond our deaths. Together we will do a variety of writing activities to witness what grief unlocks.

    LA Warman is a poet, performer, and teacher currently based in New York City. Warman is the author of Whore Foods, an erotic novella which recieved a Lambda Literary Award in 2020. She is the founder of Warman School, a non-accredited and body based learning center. Warman is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers and Poets at University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She has presented performative poetics research at Brown University, Hamilton College, Reed College, Hampshire College, and others. She is a founding organizer for the Free Ashley Now survivor defense campaign.
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  • 05 february 2023
    Violence of the Void


    This workshop is about grief and the body. Camille Barton created the GEN Grief Toolkit

    Grief is an experience that is approached with embodied ritual in a range of cultural contexts. As Western societies aim to erase connections to the past and thus also historic rituals for grief, many in the West do not know how to tend to their grief. For those that do find pathways to griefwork, this can often lead to the appropriation of practices from non-Western cultures. This void – a sense of not having your own culture or ancestral practices – is something that can be seen as a legacy of colonization. In this workshop we embrace rather than deny the void, to really listen to what needs to heal. It is an inquiry that asks for nuance not commonly found in the written or spoken word. Learning to be attentive to the traces that are left in the body, this workshop combines the practice of deep listening with diary-writing in the void.

    Camille Sapara Barton is an artist and educator who explores creative interventions that sustain life. Rooted in Black Feminism, ecology and harm reduction, they use creativity as a means to grow the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. Embodiment, healing justice and drug policy are key threads within Camille’s work. They are certified in the Resilience Toolkit – an embodiment framework to manage stress and increase resilience.  In 2022, Camille launched the GEN Grief Toolkit – a collection of embodied grief rituals to support social and environmental justice. They are currently the head of Ecologies of Transformation, a masters programme at Sandberg Institute, which researches how art making and embodiment can create social change
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  • 12 february 2023
    Dying Livingly


    This workshop is about grief and end of life care. Staci’s lecture about Dying Livingly with Barbara Hammer can be found HERE

    Hospice as we know it, an approach to care at the end of life at either home or a specialized facility, emerged after the mid-20th century as a once radical approach to the way death was (not) dealt with. Yet since then many hospices have been increasingly absorbed into the medical model of healthcare or even led by for-profit opportunists. But, end of life care is transforming. A growing wave of death care workers have advocated holistic, non-medical or hybrid modalities at the end of life as well as extensive education, support and guidance in caring and grieving for our dying and dead. In this session, we venture to the edge of life, and imagine even more from hospice and the dying experience. Participant’s deepest desires and wildest fantasies for life-affirming care help to inform this. By focusing on this specific spatio-temporal moment, when life is measured in not years but months, weeks and days, we consider how we not only give attention to our dying and death but also tend to those around us who embark on journeys of grief.

    Staci Bu Shea is a curator, writer, and death companion based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Their ongoing research project Dying Livingly focuses on emergent cultures and practices in end of life care, and manifests in the coming years as a class syllabus, novella, and collaborative exhibition. They are a tutor at Sandberg Institute and Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. Bu Shea was curator at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons (Utrecht, 2017-2022). With Carmel Curtis, they co-curated Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies at Leslie Lohman Museum of Art (New York City, 2017).
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